The horse racing schedule is going to return to some form of normalcy next weekend. Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park both intend on reopening racing at their tracks. It goes without saying that this will be without fans in attendance. I shouldn’t have to repeat that part anymore when I talk about tracks “opening” up again. Along with Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park, one of the biggest boys on the block, Churchill Downs, will begin their spring meet on Saturday. That’s exciting stuff, as the sample size of races increases, there will be more opportunities to locate winning horses.
Monday and Tuesday is one of the slowest days of the week for horse racing in the US. Will Rogers Downs and Fonner Park don’t seem to mind, though. As the only races in town, Will Rogers and Fonner get the spotlight entirely on their tracks. If Fonner didn’t move from a weekend card to early weekdays, they may not have been able to survive this shutdown.
This allows them to bring in a bigger handle than they would have otherwise would have. Record-breaking betting has been happening in Nebraska at Fonner Park online, but with only 3% going directly to the park, profit margins are razor thin right now. Let’s just be glad there’s a couple of race cards to breakdown on Monday. Head below for our free Will Rogers Downs selections for May 11, 2020.
Post Time: 1:45 p.m. CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Our afternoon card at Will Rogers Downs will begin with Race 2 in Oklahoma. So So Saucey will be looking for a big upset from the No. 3 post in this one. She will be making her third start after a couple of discouraging results on April 6 and April 27. So So Saucey was well behind the 8-ball and faltered to 11th and 9th. Don’t expect her to play much of a role in this race, nor is Dirty Dancer expected to have a meaningful impact.
Dirty Dancer has made one more start than So So Saucey and didn’t use that to her advantage. After finishing 9th and 9th in her first two outings at Remington Park, Dirty Dancer fell to 10th in her debut at Will Rogers Downs on April 1. If you’re looking for a big upset, it’s unlikely going to happen in Race 2.
Expansionist, Winning Bells, and Elsie’s First are probably going to make their presence known in this event. For the odds, I’d give the edge to Winning Bells over Expansionist. Winning Bells placed on January 25 at Santa Anita Park and could have a similar run today. She enters in similar form after some reports of solid workouts from Winning Bells. Having said that, Winning Bells lost by 6 lengths against Remember to Smile in that race. It wasn’t as close as the final result on paper indicates.
Expansionist will be making her second performance after struggling as a first-time starter on April 19. She was well back of the field, and faded to finish in 11th ahead of only Luck’s Good Girl. We’ve seen her in better form in workouts than that she was in that race. It could have been rookie jitters that got to her in the starting gate, but she should have more to give on Monday afternoon. Elsie’s First has the most experience out of the front runners in Race 2.
However, Elsie’s First is still looking for her first win after five outings. Those were big misses for Elsie’s First as she’s gone 5th, 6th, 9th, 9th, 9th. While Winning Bells has placed once, that was against only four other horses, and she wasn’t close to the front with Remember to Smile winning comfortably by 6 lengths. Elsie’s First is taking a big dive in class for this race on Monday. This is much easier company to deal with in Race 2.
Post Time: 2:45 p.m. CST
Race 4 at Will Rogers Downs features a mile race for a purse worth $10,450. Seynatawnee will need to be in her best form to win this race. She’s found success in her 33-race career with 6 wins, but has typically picked on easy competition to get there. Seyantawnee finished in the top-3 in 8 out of 9 starts, which included three wins, the most recent on April 1. However, as soon as she jumped up a class, it’s clear that Seyantawnee struggles to compete at this sevel. She won by a neck over Soaring Now, and then was a no-show on April 22. Seyantawnee finished 7th, well behind the winner Mulberry. Miss Perfecta, who is in this race as well, was many lengths ahead of Seyantawnee to finish 4th.
Settle Down Eileen at +1000 might be the best upset selection of the bunch. She placed in 17 straight races before going up a class. After having that much success in consecutive starts, it was time for Settle Down Eileen to try something a little more difficult out. Settle Down Eileen went up on March 24 at Will Rogers Downs after much success at Turf Paradise in Arizona. The move proved to be more difficult, as Settle Down Eileen finished 5th and 4th on March 24 and April 21. Having said that, there’s still some value there at +1000. If Settle Down Eileen feels comfortable going into this one, she should be a surprise threat. She is a winner in 10 of 43 career races.
Mulberry and Karate Hottie are going to be the main draws in Race 4. I’ve wagered on them before and both paid off as winners. Mulberry will be involved in the stretch in this one, as she goes for her 6th straight win and 17th win in 49 career races. Mulberry won by 2 lengths in a wire-to-wire victory on April 22. In another recent outing on March 24, Mulberry edged out Karate Hottie for a win by 1 ½ lengths. That was another wire-to-wire win, with Karate Hottie starting too late. She was 7th at the ¼ pole, 5th at the ½ pole, and then poured it on late. A little more room and that’s a win for Karate Hottie. Note, that race was at 6 furlongs, so a mile and we’re likely talking about a win for Karate Hottie in that one.
Karate Hottie has less experience than Mulberry, but has the better win percentage with wins in 7 of 19 races. She won back-to-back races after coming up just short against Mulberry on the 24th of March. Karate Hottie beat Figure by ¾ lengths at 1-mile wire-to-wire, and then followed it up with another win on April 15 by 2 lengths over Lil Footnotes. Took over the lead at the ½ pole and drove hard for the win. Look for Karate Hottie to stalk the leaders in 3rd for the majority of the race and then hit the jets at the top of the stretch to overtake Mulberry. This should be an entertaining duel between two horses in fine form.
Post Time: 3:45 p.m. CST
A hat-trick bid is on the line for Dr. Bagley on Monday at Will Rogers Downs. He and nine other participants will arrive at the starting gate around 3:45 p.m. CST to run a mile. A purse of $8,250 is on the line in Race 6. Mustang Eddie will try and buck the hat-trick for Dr. Bagley and pull off the upset at +3000.
He has raced in a lot of events, but does not have many wins to show for it. Mustang Eddie has won 4 of 50 races and is showless in seven straight races. In his first start of 2020, Mustang Eddie finished 9th on March 23 and then didn’t show any improvement in April, with two finishes of 8th and 10th.
Indy Pirate faces long odds in this one as well at +3000. He is the better option if you’re going for an upset horse, but is going to need two or three breaks to hit the wire first. Indy Pirate has won 3 of 26 races, with his most recent victory on May 13, 2019 at Will Rogers Downs. He showed in two straight races after that win and then regressed. Indy Pirate has gone 5th, 12th, 7th, 8th, 10th in his previous five outings.
Dr. Bagley, Far Out Kailee, and He’s No Saint will be on the shortlist for Race 6. Far Out Kailee might be the best hope to extinguish Dr. Bagley’s win streak. He’s coming off a couple of solid showings in 2nd and 3rd on March 30 and April 13. Far Out Kailee was beaten by Burgameister by 3 lengths and finished behind Smok’n Policy by a half length and Fred’s Country Boy by a length. He finished 6th, 8th, 8th, 5th prior to finishing 2nd, so has been in better form recently.
He’s No Saint will drop a class after struggling in January. He finished 6th, 6th, and 10th in his most recent race. His most recent victory was at Fair Meadows on July 20, six entries ago. Dr. Bagley goes into Monday with all of the momentum on his side. He was a winner on March 1 by a nose over Curry Nation after taking over the lead at the wire. Dr. Bagley repeated as a winner on April 22 with an easy victory by 2 ¼ lengths over Aloo Ghost. He’s a winning horse in 3 of 13 career starts and is in the form of his life right now. If he can bring that energy to Will Rogers on Monday, a hat-trick will be within sight.